Minisink Valley JROTC Places American Flags

GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Veterans Service Agency (VSA) Director Christian Farrell joined members of Minisink Valley High School’s JROTC to place American flags on more than 3,000 graves at the County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, May 25th to pay tribute to Memorial Day.

“We are proud to host this important Memorial Day remembrance, which encourages us all to join together in paying tribute to the servicemen and women who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “We owe them our deepest respect and gratitude and should never take their sacrifices for granted. I want to thank the Minisink Valley High JROTC for its continued dedication to the interests of veterans and our community.

The 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery has approximately 12,500 plots, with almost 3,600 men and women interred there, including more than 3,000 veterans.

According to the County’s VSA, 832 Orange County residents have died serving our Country in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the post-911 conflicts in Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States. In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. A ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans in Waterloo who had fought in the Civil War.

“May is a special month at the Orange County Veterans Memorial Cemetery as we recognize and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Farrell said. “The cemetery always looks very dignified during the Memorial Day weekend thanks to the work of the dedicated cemetery staff and the help of volunteers such as the Minisink Valley JROTC who make sure every grave is marked with an American flag.”

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